Regional Seas Conventions collaborate to implement SDG 14 across the Atlantic
At the United Nations (UN) Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14, held in New York in June 2017, OSPAR Commission (OSPAR) and the Cartagena Convention (CEP) registered a voluntary commitment to collaborate across the Atlantic. The voluntary commitment will explore opportunities for inter-regional cooperation (#OceanAction17198).
Regional Seas Programmes have established a global network of governance platforms where Contracting Parties work together to ensure the sustainable management and use of coastal, marine and ocean resources. These Regional Seas Programmes, such as OSPAR and CEP, provide sustainable mechanisms for enhancing cooperation and collaboration on joint programmes, projects and activities.
The work by the Secretariats of the two respective Conventions for these Regional Seas Programmes can enable sharing of experiences and best practices beneficial to all member states across the Wider Caribbean Region (WCR) and the North-East Atlantic. Such cooperation, based on the Ecosystem Approach involving integrated and sustainable management of marine and coastal resources, represents an important regional oceans governance framework. This framework will assist countries in both regions in the implementation of activities for achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 14 on preserving life below water.
Several initial areas for cooperation among the Wider Caribbean Region and the North-East Atlantic have been identified where OSPAR and CEP can partner to provide technical and programmatic support to member states.
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) play a critical role for our well-being and that of future generations. Sharing of knowledge focused on building the capacity of MPAs can be mutually rewarding for both OSPAR and CEP. These cover a range of issues such as management methods, assessments of management effectiveness, status of the MPAs, and regional database development and management.
Marine litter is a significant pollution issue damaging valuable natural resources and affecting the quality of lives of local inhabitants. It is known to negatively impact on economies and effect sustainability of regions. Connected by ocean currents, marine litter spreads across the Wider Caribbean Region and North-East Atlantic hence, joint measures to reduce the pollution through assessment and improved management is also essential.
Nutrient pollution is another challenging environmental problem that can also be jointly addressed. Information exchange on the sources, impacts and potential solutions including how to influence policy development and decision-making through data and information are additional areas for collaboration.
It is through such partnerships that our oceans will be sustainably managed, healthy and productive.
The OSPAR - CEP voluntary commitment is due for review in June 2020.